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Uncles on Prize-giving Day. There were no prizes,
naturally. But we did our best to show them how
efficient we were, by running round the assault course
in teams, stabbing the straw sacks. We also competed
in putting up screw-pickets and barbed wire with
rapidity and precision. Our exertions ended with a
march past the Army Commander, and then we fell
out to witness the explosion of two small mines. Earth
and chalk heaved up at the blue sky, the ground
vibrated, and there was a noise like a mad rainstorm,
caused by the whizzing descent of clods and stones
and the hiss of smaller particles. Finally, a fountain
of dingy smoke arose and drifted away from the de-
bris, and the Generals retired to have luncheon in the
white chateau; and there, let us hope, they let their
belts out a hole or two and allowed themselves a
little relaxation from intellectual effort. Allgood said
that he thought the French Generals looked much
brainier than the British ones; but I told him that
they must be cleverer than they looked, and anyhow,
they'd all got plenty of medal-ribbons.